NATO countries have responded to Turkey?s appeal for help after two massive earthquakes devastated its southern and south-eastern provinces and claimed well over 4300 lives on Monday, February 6.
More than 4,300 people have died and rescuers are racing to pull survivors from beneath the rubble after a devastating earthquake ripped through Turkey and Syria, leaving destruction and debris on each side of the border.
One of the strongest earthquakes to hit the region in a century shook residents from their beds at around 4 a.m. on Monday, sending tremors as far away as Lebanon and Israel.
In Turkey, at least 2,921 people were killed and more than 15,800 others injured, according to Turkey?s head of disaster services, Yunus Sezer.
In neighboring Syria, at least 1,451 people have died. According to the Syrian state news agency SANA, 711 people have died across government-controlled areas, mostly in the regions of Aleppo, Hama, Latakia, and Tartus.
Different countries from NATO and also Turkey’s Balkan neighbors have pledged assistance to Turkey since the disaster occured.
A total of 139 French civil security rescue workers will fly to Turkey on Monday evening to assist with search and rescue efforts, France?s Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin said.
In a tweet, Darmanin said the response came ?at the request of the president of the republic,? and is ?part of the European solidarity mechanism.?
?France stands in full solidarity with Turkey in these terrible circumstances,? the minister added.
Also, US President Joe Biden has ?authorized an immediate U.S. response? to the disaster.
?Jill and I were deeply saddened by the news of the devastating earthquakes that have thus far claimed thousands of lives in Turkiye and Syria. My Administration has been working closely with our NATO Ally Turkiye, and I authorized an immediate U.S. response,?
?Our teams are deploying quickly to begin to support Turkish search and rescue efforts and address the needs of those injured and displaced by the earthquake,? Biden said.
He added that ?U.S.-supported humanitarian partners are also responding to the destruction in Syria.?
Qatar?s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani said Qatar?s International Search and Rescue Group (QSART) will fly to Turkey through the air bridge as soon as Monday, carrying with them specialized rescue and search vehicles, and relief aid, tents and winter supplies to set up field hospitals upon arrival, Qatar News Agency (QNA) said.
Kuwait?s Emir Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah also ordered the establishment of the air bridge to send ?urgent aid and medical staff,? Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) said in a statement.
Also, The UN said it is ready to support emergency response efforts following the deadly earthquake in Turkey and Syria, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres tweeted on Monday.
?I am deeply saddened by the news of the devastating earthquakes in T�rkiye & Syria, and offer my heartfelt condolences to the families of the victims,? he wrote.
The 7.8 magnitude earthquake that hit Turkey and Syria on Monday has led to a ?catastrophic situation? in Syria, an official of the International Rescue Committee (IRC) told CNN.
?What we are seeing inside Syria really is a catastrophic situation,? said Mark Kaye, IRC’s policy, advocacy and communications director for Middle East and North Africa.
The earthquake has made the situation worse for the already vulnerable and displaced populations in Syria, specifically the rural areas, Kaye said.
?For this area, you have to remember: This population [was] already highly vulnerable. They have a huge amount of people who have already been displaced ? sometimes as many as 20 times … Almost the majority of them are women and children, particularly vulnerable to the harsh weather and this earthquake,? Kaye said.